Study evaluates yogurt drinks

by Jeff Gelski
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URBANA-CHAMPAIGN, ILL. — Manufacturers wanting to develop yogurt drinks with prebiotics and probiotics should strive for a medium level of sweetness and high viscosity for maximum consumer acceptance, according to a study at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Results of the study appeared on-line April 14 in the Journal of Food Science.

Researchers took three prebiotics: soluble corn fiber, polydextrose and inulin from chicory root. They added each prebiotic at levels of an excellent source of fiber (5 grams of fiber per serving) or a good source of fiber (2.5 grams of fiber per serving) to a yogurt drink base. Three additional yogurt drinks contained 5 grams each of the separate prebiotics along with a mixture of probiotics (Bifidobacterium lactis Bb-12 and Lacobacillus acidophilus LA-5). A control sample had no prebiotics or probiotics.

The yogurt drinks then were evaluated by 110 consumers for overall acceptance, acceptance of aroma, appearance, taste and texture, and purchase intent. Higher levels of the prebiotics with probiotics drove consumer liking compared to lower levels without probiotics.

In terms of ingredients added, inulin from chicory root and polydextrose were preferred over soluble corn fiber. Yogurt drinks with these prebiotics included and probiotics were characterized by a medium level of sweetness and high viscosity.

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